Health Report- How to deal with pandemic anxiety and stress

Health Reports

In a given year, 18% of the U.S. population will struggle with anxiety and seven percent will have at least one major depressive episode.

With the current COVID-19 pandemic, those numbers may skyrocket. How and when can people turn for help?

In times of tremendous stress, how do experts say you can avoid falling into an unhealthy rut?

“Having a routine and having a schedule in place is really important,” said A.J. Marsden, PHD, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Beacon College.

Each morning an individual could take a shower, get out of their sleepwear and get dressed even if you aren’t leaving the house.

Dr. Marsden even has advice on when negative thoughts come your way.

“Take a minute in your day, reflect on that thought that you just had, and then ask yourself, how can I turn this into something that’s positive and find a way to spin it positively,” said Dr. Marsden.

If someone in your household is struggling with anxiety and you see them spacing out or distancing themselves from the rest of the group, it’s important to break that unhealthy cycle.

“They really need a little hand getting pulled out. They’re not going to naturally come out a lot of times. So just the interrupting that train of thought,” said Dr. Marsden.

Here is some advice for family and friends who don’t live with you.

“Reaching out to them is fine. The phone still works. Skype still works,” said Nick Nance, PHD, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Human Services at Beacon College.

A new app called “Quarantine Chat” has also been created amidst the chaos. This app allows you to connect and talk with strangers when you’re feeling alone or bored.

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